Lukacs and Reflection Theory
Hani Yahyanejad, University of Semnan, Iran (Islamic Republic Of) ; Ensieh Shabanirad, University of Tehran, Iran (Islamic Republic Of)
ILSHS Volume 61, ISSN 2300-2697
This essay claims that the rejection of Lukacs’s realism is quite problematic, in the sense that his opponents such as Adorno and Althusser symbolically used the name of Lukacs and perpetuated the suspicion of Lukacs’s compromise with Stalinism. The essay argues that Lukacs’s model of reflection is not couched in Stalin’s socialist realism, a theory that assumes the transparency between aesthetic forms and reality, but rather raises the essential problems of the condition of writers in capitalist society. Lukacs’s realism aims at providing a practical strategy to overcome cultural reification, focusing on the mediation between an author and his material condition. An investigation of Lukacs’s realism reveals that Lukacs’s way of understanding realism arises from his emphasis on objectivity rather than subjective reflection such as Kantian philosophy. The essay claims that this is the kernel of Lukacsean reflection theory signified by an aesthetic of realism definitively opposed to Stalin’s socialist realism. From this perspective, the essay takes Althusserian Marxism as the occasion to stage a wide consideration of anti-realism. It proposes to elucidate the implicit assumptions behind the decline of Lukacs’s realism, and the reification of cultural fields that gradually came to dominate Western literary apparatuses.
Yahyanejad, H. & Shabanirad, E. (2015). Lukacs and Reflection Theory. International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences, 61, 145-154.